Steve McCurry And The Last Roll of Kodachrome Film Ever...
Manufactured for 74 years, Kodachrome was the oldest surviving brand of color film- and to many, it was the best. The developing process was incredibly complex and required the technicians have extensive training in chemistry and the ability to operate equally complex machinery. Thumbing through the list of processes and chemicals needed to develop this film puts a lump in your throat and makes you think about how toxic the whole affair was. The cost to the planet may have been high, but the results were astonishing; depth and saturation of color that shoot involuntary pleasure sparks into your visual cortex and make your spine tingle ever after.
That being said, perhaps it's best (at least from an ecological standpoint...) that this process be lost in the past. We can keep the images, but just like the treasure hunters burned the Egyptian papyri that held the blueprints for the pyramids, let's forget how to do it.
Legendary photographer Steve McCurry (who had used Kodachrome in a substantial amount of his work) asked if he could have the honor of taking the last roll. I'd love to show you a few of those historical images, but even though I put credited hotlinks to his images apparently Steve and/or Kodachrome apparently got a little cranky that I didn't worship at the shrine of the chemical process and pulled them all from my pesky little blog.
Shandra Beri, January 2012
" If you have good light and you’re at a fairly high shutter speed, it's
going to be a brilliant color photograph. It had a great color palette.
It wasn't too garish. Some films are like you're on a drug or something.
Velvia made everything so saturated and wildly over-the-top, too
electric. Kodachrome had more poetry in it, a softness, an elegance.
With digital photography, you gain many benefits [but] you have to put
in post-production. [With Kodachrome,] you take it out of the box and
the pictures are already brilliant
David Friend (Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 1, 2011) .